SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A limousine safety bill authored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, was passed in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Friday.

SB338 would require more inspections of vehicle, and order limos with a seating capacity of fewer than 10 people to carry a fire extinguisher onboard. Stretch limos with a capacity of more than 10 already have such a requirement.

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The committee amended Hill’s original measure to allow the California Highway Patrol to charge limo operators $25 to $75 for violations, depending on the size of fleet.

SB338 now goes to full Assembly and if approved there, to the Senate for concurrence.

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Hill drafted the legislation in the wake of last May’s deadly limousine fire on the San Mateo Bridge. Five of nine women riding in the back became trapped in the burning vehicle and died. That limo had a seating capacity of just eight. The California Highway Patrol subsequently released a report earlier this month revealing that the fire was caused by a faulty air suspension system that caused friction underneath the car.

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